Emotional intelligence has been, for some time now, a buzzword among education circles, and with good reason. Right alongside IQ (Intelligence Quotient), EQ (Emotional Quotient) ranks right up there in every educationist’s endeavour to create well-rounded, accomplished individuals. EQ is defined as the ability to identify, use, understand and manage emotions in a healthy and effective fashion. This ability helps students empathise with others and themselves, and deal with difficult situations without getting frazzled. It affects relationships, academic performance and even the way students handle pressure.
This is a feature of growth that becomes ever more difficult in a world where all our attention is focused on academic excellence. More and more research these days talk about how emotions affect learning. In fact, a research conducted around medical students in Iran found that students with a higher emotional intelligence showed better academic performance. Here are a few ways that emotional intelligence benefits students:
The biggest problem among students is not that they are not interested in what they are learning, it is maintaining that interest. An emotionally intelligent student will have an increased level of self-awareness, making him or her take charge of their learning proactively. They will need to be goaded about sitting down to study or finishing their projects far less frequently than their peers. Self-awareness is the ability of being in touch with one’s feelings, be they positive or negative. This self-awareness also raises the ability to tune out the negativity and focus on the positive.
The key to developing lasting and positive relationships is empathy. Everyone knows that children can be cruel in their utterances and actions. A child who is in tune with their own emotional side, however, acts from a place of empathy. This makes the child less prone to hurtful actions and more supportive towards their peers. It not only helps them create positive relationships but also aids their learning process. Empathy allows students to anticipate their own feelings as well as the feelings of others. This ability generally enhances our understanding of people and the world, something that is crucial for a student who is constantly learning and growing.
As a result of the two points mentioned above, the critical factor that is inculcated in students is self-regulation. A student who takes charge of their own learning and academic growth, is unstoppable. Students in the secondary section have less impulse control. When a student is actively taught self-regulation it not only helps them academically but is the foundation stone of healthy habits moving forward in life. Talking to the students regularly and teaching them ways they can better understand moderation are keys to helping them develop self-regulation.
Increased Problem-Solving Skills
Emotional intelligence helps students better analyse situations. It not only helps students interact with others better but also helps them tackle academic issues with greater panache. The better a student is able to come to grips with a situation, the more in control they are of it. Emotional intelligence allows them to understand a situation better instead of getting overawed by it and upending the metaphorical cart entirely.
Better Stress Management
A student who is able to manage his or her emotions well is a student that will not allow stress to rule their academic life. Emotional intelligence creates a strong buffer for students which helps them better handle the factors that create stress in the minds of the student. This is also a great benefit for students later, when they begin their professional lives.
Better Satisfaction Levels
Upsets are a part of academic life, just as they are a part of professional set-ups. Having a strong emotional foundation can help students deal with their problems successfully. It is what teaches students to set attainable goals, make better decisions, and deal with their problems in a healthier fashion. This not only makes the individual happier but also makes them far more satisfied with what they are doing in life.
Talk About Feelings
The best part about students who are emotionally intelligent is that they do not shy away from talking about what they are feeling. Being able to talk about one’s own mental state is an important aspect of being able to handle one’s emotions. Students are usually reticent about talking about what they are feeling. An emotionally intelligent student ensures that they talk about what they are feeling and find succour where it is available.
At École Mondiale World School, we are keenly aware that students need all-round development. Emotional intelligence is one of the most important aspects of growth for students. This is something we not only emphasise but actively inculcate in our students and teachers alike.